Pinegrove’s Best Album

Posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 by Karena

Garrett Lee dancing the Pinegrove Shuffle on TikTok. Photo credit: “The New York Times,” Aug. 2, 2023

Among the more unexpected social media trends of summer 2023, to me, was the “Pinegrove shuffle,” a viral dance described by the New York Times as floppy, hypnotic, sad, and cathartic. We have 19-year-old Garrett Lee to thank for the dance trend, set to the aching, quietly frantic “Need 2,” first released nearly a decade ago as the seventh track on Pinegrove’s 2014 album “Everything So Far.”

The “shuffle” rose to fame just as Pinegrove was dipping out of it. On May 12, @pinegroveband made an Instagram post explaining their upcoming transition: “to anyone who may have missed the memo, pinegrove, while not over, is moving into a different phase which will not involve touring as a band, at least for a few years.” A month later, Lee posted his video. Soon, new and old Pinegrove listeners alike were flopping and shuffling across the world. Continue reading “Pinegrove’s Best Album”

More 5 Star Reads ★★★★★

Posted on Wednesday, November 22, 2023 by Megan

Teen Reader Reviews

Looking for a great read? Then look no further! Here’s another round of 5-star reads from local teens! Pick one (or all of them) up at your library!

Fire Keeper's Daughter book cover

Firekeeper’s Daughter” by Angeline Boulley 

Reader: Kate

5/5 Stars ★★★★★

Why did you like or dislike this book? It was very educational and I loved learning about Ojibwe culture and traditions. I loved the community aspect and how everyone took care of each other, especially the women and elders. However, I was expecting a mystery book, and I was a little disappointed in that aspect and felt like there were many unanswered questions. But, if you go into it looking for a story about a girl’s relationship with her heritage, community, and grief, it will exceed your expectations. Overall, an incredible and heartwarming book. Continue reading “More 5 Star Reads ★★★★★”

Is It Worth the Hype? Volume One

Posted on Wednesday, November 8, 2023 by Dana

When everyone is reading, talking and BookToking about the same book you might find yourself asking. Is it worth the hype? Every book has its readers, but it can be lonely when a popular book doesn’t hit you the same way it does for everyone else. Don’t worry we’re here for you! You can share your hot takes and ALL your feels with us by filling out our Teen Book Reviews form. Who knows we may feature your review in an upcoming blog.

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

What It’s About:  Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, but the commanding general (her mother) has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become dragon riders. But when your body is weak, if the training doesn’t kill you, the dragons will. And the other candidates would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter. Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom’s protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise.

Worth the Hype:  Ugh, no. The promise of a military academy is poorly executed. Yarros just methodically checked off a list of tropes in a very predictable manner: Love Triangle, Enemies to Lovers (for five minutes and then it’s Instalove), Spicy, Dark-haired and Tattooed Bad Boy, Overly Powered Heroine, Probably Corrupt Organization, Big Secret, etc. It’s tedious and rather than being a fantasy novel with a romantic subplot, this is a young adult romance with jarring modern language that happens to have dragons.

Be Aware:  This has teen characters, but is definitely an adult book with adult themes.  The second book, Iron Flame, came out November 7th.

Continue reading “Is It Worth the Hype? Volume One”

Book Review: M Is for Monster

Posted on Wednesday, November 1, 2023 by Nigel Church

“Will you catch me?”

“I’ll try.”


What’s the story?

M Is for Monster” is one of the innumerable adaptations of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I wonder how Mary Shelley would feel about her book being taken apart and put back together so many times? That question aside, this adaptation earns its place. Full disclosure reader, I have never read the original Frankenstein in its entirety, but I’d also say the gist of the story permeates our pop culture just as much as Star Wars or The Wizard of Oz. In this version Maura is brought back to life by her sister Frances, except she doesn’t feel like Maura, she doesn’t feel like anyone. Frances promises to take Maura apart and try again if it doesn’t work out, but Maura knows she wants to keep being even if she doesn’t know entirely what that means. Maura discovers that she can still communicate with the ghost of her former self through reflections, but that also cements the knowledge that she is something different and from then on she thinks of herself as M. From there the story centers around how long M can/will pretend that she is Maura and this is also where we really go off the track from the original storyline. In spite of what the title would have you believe M is not a monster, the townsfolk are not afraid of her (quite the opposite), and she does not commit monstrous acts. Continue reading “Book Review: M Is for Monster”

The Selector’s Selections: October 2023

Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 by Brianna

I really can’t even begin to tell you how relieved I am that fall is here! This is my favorite time of year to curl up with a blanket and a book, and my geriatric pug agrees wholeheartedly. Her preference is for me to spend as much time as possible on the couch snuggling her, and who am I to argue? If you need some books to accompany your own pet snuggles this month, check out these new titles! This will be my last blog for a little while, so enjoy and I’ll see you again next year with some winter releases!

The Blackwoods coverThe Blackwoods” by Brandy Colbert

 Cousins Hollis and Ardith Blackwood loved their great-grandmother dearly—and so did the rest of the country. Blossom “Bebe” Blackwood was a wildly popular Black actress, and now that she’s passed, her great-granddaughters have to navigate grieving while in the spotlight. Ardith has always loved the limelight, starring in television since childhood and dreaming of following in Blossom’s footsteps. But now that her beloved Bebe is gone, Ardith has lost her mentor and confidante, and the pressures of fame and everyone’s expectations begin to feel like too much. Hollis on the other hand, is content to live life quietly, with as much privacy as a famous Hollywood family can afford. So when personal secrets start appearing in the press, she’s left unsure of who to trust and where to turn. This is told from three different perspectives, that of Ardith and Hollis and of a young Blossom in the 1940s, struggling to make it in Hollywood. Sure to please fans of celebrity novels, this book also offers an insightful and complex look at sexism, addiction and racism. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: October 2023”

Spooky, Not Scary Watch-List: Volume II aka BOO! 👻

Posted on Wednesday, October 18, 2023 by Grae

Pink poster with the words SPOOKY NOT SCARY curved around an image of two ghosts watching TV. Around the ghosts is a bunch of Halloween candy and three purple bats. Below the ghosts are five glitchy/smashed jack-o'-lanterns. At the bottom of the poster written in blood-red is the phrase "Vol. II aka BOO!"

Calling and/or caterwauling all ghouls, goblins, gargoyles, gremlins, and giggling green ghosts: Spooky Season has arrived with all of its ghastly delights and gnarly frights. Hip-Hip-Horroray! Which means it’s time for another installment of Spooky, Not Scary™️, a watch-list of titles for all of us soft goths, tender terrors and nervous nellies. A quick recap for those of you just joining in: while Halloween and all its eerie marvels are my top vibe, I avoid the deeply distressing and downright disturbing imagery and atmosphere of most “scary” movies, tv, and even musical soundtracks, mostly because I have always had an immersively detailed dream and/or nightmare life, which often means I don’t really need the help or inspiration or taunting hauntings that that kind of media provides. Thanks, horror genre, but I can terrorize myself all on my own! 💀

So, to still celebrate this terrifically chilling time of year, I give you the following titles that are avowedly Spooky, Not Scary. Each title is rated on a scale of 0-5 smashed pumpkins. The more smashed pumpkins (which I’ve metaphorically dropped out of terror), the closer the tv show/movie/video is to being truly frightening.

Continue reading “Spooky, Not Scary Watch-List: Volume II aka BOO! 👻”

DIY Creepy Crafts

Posted on Monday, October 16, 2023 by Megan

This time of year is perfect for some creepy crafts, but if I’m being honest I love all things spooky any time of year! See below for some of our favorite spine-tingling projects. Happy haunting! Continue reading “DIY Creepy Crafts”

Beginners Guide to Tarot

Posted on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 by Megan

Beginners Guide to Tarot

Do you like journaling? Do you like art? What if I told you that you could combine the 2? And I’m not talking about bullet journaling. I’m talking tarot!

Tarot has been around for centuries in various forms, but we’re not going to dwell on the past here (the history of tarot is very interesting and if you want to learn more I encourage you to look it up). Nor are we here to predict the future.

Gif of hands holding tarot cards. Text reads let me consult my cards...

Continue reading “Beginners Guide to Tarot”

You Are Not Alone

Posted on Wednesday, October 4, 2023 by Nigel Church

You are not alone with a drawing of a group of people with their arms around each other

Before we get into it, I want to let you know that this is probably a more serious blog than you are used to seeing from the library. As such I want to put two mental health resources front and center before we get into it.

988 is the Missouri suicide and crisis lifeline. 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

And here is a link for the directory of certified community behavioral health clinics. Not the most exciting page to look at, but a possible starting point for those who feel they need treatment or would like an official diagnosis.

Being a teenager is rough all around, but for some of us it’s rougher than others and that’s real. You’re not imagining it. Let me repeat myself, you are not alone. They say it gets better, but for some of us, it never does. At least, not without some help and some tools. In case you haven’t guessed it, this one goes out to all my neurodivergents out there. Continue reading “You Are Not Alone”